The Peacock

Photo credit: Renee Flugg

A stellar brunch with more than a touch of British flair

By Hannah Howard

It doesn’t get much classier than high tea. And at the Peacock, a sophisticated British-inspired spot located in the boutique William hotel just a couple blocks south of Grand Central, it’s served in floral china sets, with the works—a tower of scones, flaky pastries, poppy muffins, tangy lemon curd, and tart jam. But if you think that sounds stuffy or forbidding, forget it. The elegant setup is all yours, sure—along with a bountiful and boozy brunch at this gorgeous midtown townhouse.

Your cup—sipped under a massive crystal chandelier in the posh dining room or on the pretty, sunshiny patio—is just the beginning. Next comes punch, as much as your heart desires of whichever kind suits your fancy. The Royal Orchard is a palate waker-upper, spiked with gin, white tea, and perky peach. Still can’t decide which yummy punch to imbibe? You’re welcome—encouraged!—to try all three.
The Peacock takes traditional Anglo fare and makes it modern, New York-ified, and unusually delicious. You get to select not one but two generous courses from the menu, which is more difficult that it sounds. Light-as-air cod fried with thrice cooked “chips,” or the full English breakfast, complete with bacon, beans, and black sausage?, Sticky toffee and date pudding—fantastically rich and just the right amount of sweet—or fluffy beyond belief Scotch pancakes topped with a happy poof of Chantilly cream?

Fortunately, no matter how you choose, you can’t go wrong. There’s no better way to spend a weekend morning—letting it linger into your weekend afternoon. And afterwards? Nap time.


Dinner: Mon–Sat 5:30 PM–11 PM
Lunch: Mon–Fri 11:30 AM–3 PM
Brunch: Sat–Sun 11 AM–4 PM

price range

$8 (Scotch egg) to $38 (milk-fed baby lamb)